AMES — The Iowa State men’s basketball team has four scheduled games left.
Iowa State and Texas announced Monday that Thursday’s game in Ames will be postponed due to inclement weather in Texas that has already shut down much of the state and forced the Longhorns to move their game against Oklahoma from Tuessday to Wednesday.
The Cyclones already had two other games, Kansas State and Texas Tech, that were postponed and those didn’t have a set date yet.
With less than a month until the Big 12 tournament, which is set to begin March 10, and an already packed schedule, making up three games would be a tall order.
On Tuesday, if everything goes to plan in this unpredictable year, Iowa State (2-14, 0-11 Big 12) will play at Oklahoma State (13-6, 6-6) at 3 p.m. (ESPN+).
The Cowboys are on the cusp of being ranked in the Associated Press poll as they are the team receiving the most votes outside of the top 25. They are ranked No. 22 in the coaches poll this week.
That game kicks off a stretch for Iowa State in which it will play a series of games against high-caliber teams, including No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 2 Baylor — and that’s without No. 12 Texas.
Quite the daunting task for a team that has not won a conference game.
Iowa State coach Steve Prohm is now less concerned about winning and losing and more interested in the way his team is competing.
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“I think you judge us by how much we’re improving and by getting these young guys opportunities,” Prohm said. “I’m not looking far, far ahead. I’m staying in the moment and trying to get these guys better.”
The Cyclones have had flashes of putting together a full game. But that’s the problem, they’re flashes.
They’re moments or stretches where the Cyclones look like they’re about to put it together only to have a string of bad shots, turnovers or defensive lapses to take them out of the game.
Last Saturday against Kansas, it was turnovers that cost the Cyclones in a 64-50 loss.
“I don’t think anybody can question the way we competed tonight,” Prohm said Saturday. “I know it got away from us at the end but we were terrific, defensively. It’s the little things like sustaining that defensive effort but having a 12-turnover game, instead of a 23-turnover game.”
While Prohm would like his team to be judged on how much effort they give, he knows it’s not realistic. And he knows being winless in the conference at this point isn’t acceptable.
“Obviously, there’s no question about it, this isn’t what the fanbase deserves,” Prohm said. “This isn’t what the administration deserves. It wasn’t what anybody signed up for. Disappointed, no doubt about it.
“There’s nobody bothered by it more than me and my family. Believe me. I promise you that. I eat, sleep and drink this game trying to get us better. I’m focused on that.
“I understand this isn’t acceptable. We’ve got to be better.”
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